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College hosts Tuskegee Airmen exhibit
Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Feb. 23
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Historic exhibit

What: Informational displays about the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first black military pilots

When: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday through Feb. 23; a grand opening celebration is set for 2 p.m. Sunday.

Where: North Georgia Technical College's Visual Technology Center

Cost: Free

Contact: Christina Teasley, 706-754-7841


North Georgia Technical College in Clarkesville is sponsoring an exhibit that describes the history and exploits of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of black pilots who broke the color barrier during World War II.

The exhibit, which opened Tuesday and runs through Feb. 23 at the college's Visual Technology Center, features 10 informational displays, said the campus librarian, Christina Teasley.

Viewing hours are set for 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. During the exhibit, which is open to the public, there will be special experiences scheduled, as well as opportunities for group tours.

There is no charge for the visit, and the exhibit is part of the college's Black History Month celebration.

In the 1940s, America's first black military pilots were trained in Tuskegee, Ala. What began as an experiment became known as the Tuskegee Experience and the participants as the Tuskegee Airmen.

Tuskegee Army Airfield, now known as Sharpe Field, produced nearly 1,000 pilots between 1941 and 1946.

The exhibit "will be a great learning opportunity for our community at all levels," said North Georgia Tech president Steve Dougherty.

A grand opening ceremony is planned for 2 p.m. Sunday featuring the Habersham Central High School's Air Force JROTC Color Guard and North Georgia Tech student Ray Chamblee performing the National Anthem.

The keynote speaker is Sgt. 1st Class Mervin Watford, U.S. Army Reserve liaison to North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega.

Watford, who is black, is "going to talk about how the military is today and his experience in the military," Teasley said.

Kennesaw State University in Cobb County created the exhibit and a 17-page teacher's guide as a supplement to the learning experience.

School and youth groups are visiting and are invited to tour the exhibit.

"We had some Cub Scouts come through (Tuesday) night," Teasley said. "I'm going to be giving a tour to a small school group next week."

She said she has tried and is trying to find some Tuskegee Airmen to visit the exhibit.

"Most of those gentlemen were born in the 1920s, if not earlier, and so they are few and far between, as far as surviving members," Teasley said.

The exhibit will go to New Mexico after ending at North Georgia Tech.


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